Citroen's new C4 Cactus model will have protective body cladding and sofa-style front seating when it goes on sale next year.
The C4 Cactus will be the first car in Citroen's new C-Line range, which positions the brand's mainstream cars as affordable vehicles emphasizing practicality, fuel efficiency and low ownership costs.
The protective cladding, which Citroen calls Airbumps, appeared on the doors of the Cactus concept unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in September, along with a sofa-style front bench.
The Airbumps have air capsules inside and are designed to resist scratches and reduce damage caused by small impacts. They will be a practical feature that will save owners the cost of expensive bodywork repairs, according to brand executives.
Frederic Duvernier, the Cactus concept's external designer, said the feature will appear on the production car, which is due to go on sale in mid-2014. "The material used for the Airbumps is very resistant and durable. It is similar to what you find in the sole of a Nike Air shoe," he told Automotive News Europe. "The Airbumps will protect the bodywork from small impacts, such as a shopping trolley hitting it in a supermarket parking lot," he said.
Duvernier said the Airbumps will also allow the customers to personalize their car by ordering black and white or multicolor variations.